Sen. Larkin faces pre­vi­ous chal­lenger

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­line.com

Or­ange County Demo­crat Christo­pher Eachus is try­ing for the sec­ond time to un­seat the long­time in­cum­bent.

Repub­li­can Wil­liam Larkin Jr. is seek­ing a 14th twoyear term in the state Se­nate and is be­ing chal­lenged in the Nov. 8 elec­tion by Or­ange County Leg­is­la­tor Christo­pher Eachus.

This is the sec­ond time in the past three elec­tions that Eachus has run against Larkin in the 39th Se­nate Dis­trict. Larkin de­feated him in 2012.

The dis­trict in­cludes the Ul­ster County towns of Plat­tekill and Marl­bor­ough, cen­tral and eastern Or­ange County and the north­ern tip of Rock­land County.

Christo­pher Eachus

Eachus, 61, of 65 Clancy Ave., New Wind­sor, has been an Or­ange County leg­is­la­tor since 2006 and is in the sec­ond year of a third four-year term.

Eachus has lived in the area for 40 years, and he and his wife, Kimberly, have four chil­dren. He grad­u­ated from Seaford High School in 1973, earned a bachelor’s de­gree in physics from SUNY Cort­land in 1977 and re­ceived a mas­ter’s de­gree in ele­men­tary ed­u­ca­tion from SUNY New Paltz in 1992.

He is a re­tired high school physics teacher.

Eachus is com­man­der of the Sons of the Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 1796 and is a mem­ber of Sal­va­tion Army ad­vi­sory board in Newburgh, the Na­tional Ea­gle Scout As­so­ci­a­tion and the Greater Newburgh Op­ti­mist Club.

Eachus would like the state to keep in place its cap on prop­erty tax levy in­creases but said it should be ac­com­pa­nied by state fund­ing for man­dated ex­penses for mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and school dis­tricts.

He also wants to “get rid of the tax ex­emp­tion for mil­lion­aires for yachts and planes ... so they pay their fair share of sales tax.”

Also, “we need Med­i­caid re­lief,” Eachus said. “The state needs to fund that fully and take the bur­den off of the coun­ties.”

Eachus would also like the state to com­bine po­lit­i­cal pri­maries to re­duce elec­tion costs for mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

“This year we just had three pri­maries, and all of those pri­maries should be on the same day,” he said. “We had it for the pres­i­dent, we had it for the con­gres­sional [seats], and then state and lo­cal.”

Eachus said end­ing cor­rup­tion in Al­bany should be ap­proached with sev­eral types of re­form.

“We can ad­dress that through term lim­its, stop­ping dou­ble dip­ping [salaries and a pension] ... and lim­it­ing out­side in­come,” he said.

Eachus also fa­vors re­form­ing the Com­mon Core ed­u­ca­tion stan­dards.

“The first thing to move the ball for­ward is that you get all the stake­hold­ers in­volved, which we’re not,” he said. “You get the stu­dents in­volved be­cause the stu­dents have won­der­ful an­swers; you get the teach­ers in­volved; you get the par­ents in­volved, as well as the ad­min­is­tra­tion as well as the Board of Re­gents. “You let ed­u­ca­tors make ed­u­cated de­ci­sions.”

Eachus also said state law­mak­ers need to ap­prove the Child Vic­tim Act to keep abusers from es­cap­ing the con­se­quences of their ac­tions.

“I would vote for this,” he said. “It is to ex­tend the statute of lim­i­ta­tions for vic­tims to re­port the abuse. One out of five chil­dren have been sex­u­ally abused, and yet 90 per­cent of all the preda­tors re­main out on the street. Right now, it (the statute of lim­i­ta­tions) is ... five years, and I would ex­tend it as long as I could pos­si­bly get it.”

Wil­liam Larkin

Larkin, 88, of 181 Bayview Av­enue, Corn­wall-onHud­son, has been a state se­na­tor since Jan­uary 1991 and was an as­sem­bly­man from Jan­uary 1979 through De­cem­ber 1990. He was town of New Wind­sor su­per­vi­sor in 1976 and 1977.

Larkin has lived lo­cally since 1967. He and his wife, Pa­tri­cia, have eight chil­dren.

Larkin grad­u­ated from LaSalle High School in 1944 and served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1967.

Larkin’s cam­paign said the se­na­tor would not par­tic­i­pate in a tele­phone interview for this story.

When he an­nounced his re-elec­tion bid in the spring, Larkin listed among his leg­isla­tive ac­com­plish­ments the co-found­ing the Na­tional Pur­ple Heart Hall of Honor, lead­ing the ef­fort to cre­ate the Pur­ple Heart For­ever postage stamp, se­cur­ing more than $30 mil­lion for con­struc­tion of SUNY Or­ange’s Newburgh cam­pus and help­ing to en­act a law that re­quires all birthing fa­cil­i­ties to screen new­born ba­bies for con­gen­i­tal heart de­fects.

PRO­VIDED

Christo­pher Eachus, left, and state Sen. Wil­liam Larkin

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